Science & Tech

Difference between hacked and a virus

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Tell the difference between hacked and a virus on your computer

Since the dawn of the Internet age, it seems like the terms "hacker" and "virus" have been around as well.  Some people believe there is very little difference between the two. They mostly believe this because it is extremely hard to tell the difference between actually being hacked and getting your computer or device infected with a digital virus. 

In the long run there is a difference between hacked and virus and the difference is pretty important when dealing with the problems either situation creates.

The Hacker: Then and Now

Being hacked used to be something that only large companies and government organizations worried about.  When the Internet was young, hacking was little more than a source of entertainment for bored techies who wanted to show that they were the smartest and the best when it came to computers and the gateway they provided to all kinds of information.

Being hacked, back in the day, meant that someone was actively trying to invade your database through physically hitting the right kind of keystrokes.  This usually took days, weeks or at the minimum several hours.  There was also the added risk that while the hackers were trying to gain access to databases they were not supposed to have access to, people on the other end were busy pinpointing where the unauthorized access was coming from. 

Hacking was little more than a game that was actually glorified at times, even by Hollywood as the little guy fighting against established powers. Much money has been spent by computer users to protect their information from hackers with firewalls and anti-virus software.

While most people have a romanticized idea of just what a Hacker is, the reality is that they are criminals and there are plenty of them who are using their abilities as hackers to create havoc and rip people off.  Anonymous is one group that has caused quite a few problems by attacking major companies and organizations in retaliation for actions they disagree with. 





Like computer technology itself, the way that people hack a database has evolved.  While there is still some frontal assaults being done by people sitting at a keyboard or keyboards there is now a new and better way to get someone's information and that is through the use of a computer virus.

Using A Virus

The definition of a computer virus is that of a small program that's sole purpose is to impair or destroy a computer's ability to operate successfully. 

There have been a ton of different computer viruses that made the news over the last few years thanks to the path of destruction they left in their wake.  Some of these viruses are actually considered nothing more than a nuisance, but the worst of the worst are the ones that are built to make a thief's job that much easier.

Hacking has become big business, thanks to the number of people who have personal and financial information stored online.  A virus is now a tool that hackers have come up with to take a shortcut to gaining information and access to company databases, as well as individual computers. 

Catching a Virus

One of the things that makes a virus such a useful tool for hackers is that once created, the virus can either be implanted or it can simply be downloaded by the unwitting victim.  Once it is downloaded, through email or websites that have been infected, the virus knows exactly what it is supposed to do.  Hackers take advantage of this by using Spam as a weapon.  Mass emails go out to numerous people, with the hopes that someone will download an attachment, or even just open the email and they become infected.

A lot of these viruses then have a directive to access the emails of their victims and send out the virus to people in their contact list, this time posing as friends and neighbors.  This tool then infects others and the beat goes on.

The difference between being hacked and having a virus is that a virus is just another tool for hacking, so they are really just two halves of the same whole. 

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